Who: This series is open to all UW undergraduate and graduate students who share a passion for the outdoors. Enrollment is limited to 12-14 participants, with selection based on an application and interview process.
What: Both classroom and backcountry sessions will be used to provide a foundation for leading others in a wilderness environment. Each component of the series will focus on one or more of the following: improving technical skills, applying leadership methods, and obtaining medical training.
Participants will have a chance to hear from guest speakers, discuss cutting edge theories and materials, participate in various types of outdoor activities, and assist on Outdoor Program trips. OLDS students will obtain a number of possible certifications including: OLDS Graduate, Leave No Trace Trainer, and Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder.
When: The year-long series runs from September through May.
Successful participants will...
The following calendar provides most information applicants should need to decide if they can commit to the entire program.
Cost: The series is free for those accepted; discounts are available to cover the costs of additional medical training and certifications (the cost of tuition for the ENR course and required book is not covered).
Applications are due by Friday, September 16, 2016. For an application, click here.
What are you looking for in an OLDS candidate?
Key traits in an ideal OLDS candidate include a serious commitment to the program, a strong interest in the outdoors, a desire to improve themselves and their skills, a supportive and inclusive attitude, and a sense of adventure. We are looking for a diverse set of students who have the desire and capacity to become great leaders.
Things that are not very important are technical outdoor skills, extensive leadership experience, or impressive outdoor accomplishments. We encourage everyone to apply, regardless of outdoor experience. We also screen candidates based upon the number of commitments they are undertaking.
What is the purpose of the OLDS? What will I get from it?
OLDS is intended to train you into an effective beginner outdoor leader and educator. We teach transferable leadership skills such as group development, managing risk, understanding heuristic traps as well as outdoor-focused "hard" skills such as winter travel, backpacking, minimum impact camping skills, and wilderness-based medical training. This program will prepare you to begin a career leading and guiding professionally; if you decide not to continue in the outdoors, you will retain leadership skills that will benefit you in any job or academic environment.
What commitments are asked of OLDS participants?
Commitment is vital to the success of this program. In addition to a willingness to be a valuable group member, the following are the things you commit to if you are offered a space in OLDS: